The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 eBook

Jacob Gould Schurman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 87 pages of information about The Balkan Wars.
the rest of Albania similar intervention will be necessary to establish order, and to protect the life and property of the inhabitants without distinction of race, tribe, or creed.  Servia might perhaps have governed the country, had she not been compelled by the Great Powers, at the instigation of Austria-Hungary, to withdraw her forces.  And her extrusion from the Adriatic threw her back toward the Aegean, with the result of shutting Bulgaria out of Central Macedonia, which was annexed by Greece and Servia presumably under arrangements satisfactory to the latter for an outlet to the sea at Saloniki.  The war declared by Austria-Hungary against Servia may be regarded to some extent as an effort to nullify in the interests of the former the enormous advantages which accrued directly to Servia and indirectly to Russia from the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913.  That Russia should have come to the support of Servia was as easy to foresee as any future political event whatever.  And the action of Germany and France once war had broken out between their respective allies followed as a matter of course.  If the Austro-German Alliance wins in the War of Many Nations it will doubtless control the eastern Adriatic and open up a way for itself to the Aegean.  Indeed, in that event, German trade and German political influence would spread unchallenged across the continents from the North Sea to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.  Turkey is a friend and ally; but even if Turkey were hostile she would have no strength to resist such victorious powers.  And the Balkan States, with the defeat of Russia, would be compelled to recognize Germanic supremacy.

If on the other hand the Allies come out victorious in the War of Many Nations, Servia and perhaps Roumania would be permitted to annex the provinces occupied by their brethren in the Dual Monarchy and Servian expansion to the Adriatic would be assured.  The Balkan States would almost inevitably fall under the controlling influence of Russia, who would become mistress of Constantinople and gain an unrestricted outlet to the Mediterranean through the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmora, and the Dardanelles.

In spite of themselves the destiny of the peoples of the Balkans is once more set on the issue of war.  It is not inconceivable, therefore, that some or all of those States may be drawn into the present colossal conflict.  In 1912-1913 the first war showed Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Servia allied against Turkey; and in the second war Greece, Montenegro, and Servia were joined by Roumania in the war against Bulgaria, who was also independently attacked by Turkey.  What may happen in 1914 or 1915 no one can predict.  But if this terrible conflagration, which is already devastating Europe and convulsing all the continents and vexing all the oceans of the globe, spreads to the Balkans, one may hazard the guess that Greece, Montenegro, Servia, and Roumania will stand together on the side of the Allies and that Bulgaria if she is not carried away by marked Austro-German victories will remain neutral,—­unless indeed the other Balkan States win her over, as they not inconceivably might do, if they rose to the heights of unwonted statesmanship by recognizing her claim to that part of Macedonia in which the Bulgarian element predominates but which was ceded to her rivals by the Treaty of Bukarest.

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The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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